Montgomery party of six

Montgomery party of six

Monday, November 30, 2009

here comes santa clause...

night after thanksgiving there is always a christmas tree lighting at the forum. this year was no exception.

isaac and autumn loving time together

whoever had the idea to give all the small children whistles that sounded like dolphins should have been dragged up on stage and shot or at least scourged.

grammy and ryder celebrate the season

the gang is all here

the flute magic is wearing off

matt, daniel, and joy, with baby girl arriving next week.

i am pretty sure that is supposed to be a reindeer in the background, but it looks to me like some sort of elongated dog.

it's a boy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

gobble, gobble

after the turkey trot thanksgiving morning, we had a full day.

isaac made special thanksgiving candles with grandma chris. sample below

dinner at the menconi's. trooper's looking for scraps.

the fam

the boys always love playing

grauntie and rydie

grauntie, isaac, and the elephant

joined later in the afternoon by casey and the ruge's

grammy and isaac with the pumpkin isaac picked out for her.

turkey trot

this morning we ventured out into the streets of downtown o'side for a little turkey trotting. the menconi/montgomery clan was in full force.

the boys loved the crowds.

finished and ready for some turkey. happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

pre-turkey videos

you gotta love the hokey pokey. not sure that one guy should consider leaving his day job to become an american idol. he's a hack.

just another day with the boys: a little danger, a lot of fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

tank engine time

on the recovery side of the sickness, isaac and i went up to the train museum in beautiful perris, california. thomas the train was in town, we had tickets for months, and he is pretty much a toddler rock star.

getting ready to leave, isaac showing off his new "lights and sounds" thomas. a pretty big deal.

train tables galore. it is like that whole kid in the candy store thing. please note the tattoo. i was glad to be there for my son's first one, and although that thing was temporary, it stayed on for a good week and a half.

petting the goat. purell was required afterwards.

the man himself.

during the ride

he was a little star struck.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

swine time?

so isaac came home from camp with the flu. doctor couldn't tell us if it was swine or not, but it didn't really matter. the fever, the sore throat, the lethargy all added up to a long week for the family. this picture about summed it up.

dumb me

so apparently blogger was not broken, but rather my rudimentary understanding of blogger was not quite sufficient. the kind folks at the blogger help desk have addressed the issue, so now there are several posts in a row coming. this first one is from a family trip to forest home the second weekend of november. it seemed like a good idea at the time, spending time in the woods, enjoying each other and people from our church, but little did we know that it would nearly be the end of all of us.

this picture should have been our first clue. the boys are having a great time causing a ruckus, and i am already looking wasted. no wonder i felt like jack nicholson from the shining.

despite the lack of naps on the way up, everything went fairly well until friday night. i slept about three hours, mostly due to the fact that both boys had vicious gas all night long. something about the combination of high altitude and broccoli did not sit well with them. this is the boys the morning after.

isaac still thought climbing the bunk beds was just about the coolest thing ever

we didn't really make it to any of the sessions, but instead watched the boys explore the great outdoors.

this hat is still a favorite of ours

a quick picture with our friends the nelson's (jamie, sara, and little max). everything seemed normal, but the car ride home was about half nap, half screaming. if that had been the worst of it, that would have been all right. instead, isaac also came home with the flu.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

dumb blogger

for some reason blogger will not let us upload pictures right now, so how about some mental images?

1. isaac's favorite fruit currently is oranges/tangerines. he will eat several at a sitting.
2. his favorite color is purple. it is the only crayon he wants to use. he says it all the time.
3. ryder is walking a lot now. he still seems to get that "i could walk but crawling is faster" look, but he starting to be maybe 50/50.
4. ryder is also getting a pot belly. he will probably start growing taller any minute.
5. isaac had his cleft clinic check up this past week. he is coming right along, no real new news.
6. our kids are awesome. super cute. end of story.

as soon as we can post pictures it will be a slew.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

so blessed?

A few months ago I met Annie, Isaac and Ryder on their way home from one of Isaac’s frequently occurring doctor’s appointments, this one a regularly scheduled hearing test. As we shared frozen yogurt, she shared with me the results of the tests: that by all known indicators, Isaac’s situation continues to improve, and that at some point he may have what could be considered normal hearing. Having feared the worst regarding his prognosis for a long time, I shared with him a proverb once given to me by a homeless man named Karl, “You gotta pass the blessing.” By this I meant that the fact that Isaac could hear better was a blessing, and he needed, at some point, to find a way to pass that blessing to people around him, most likely to those with less blessing in their lives.

A few days later, however, I was talking to a friend about the situation, and I began to wonder out loud if I had assessed the situation correctly. Indeed, I began to wonder if better hearing was a blessing, or, if in some subversive economy, it was a something less. It is not that I want my son to face the difficulty of those sorts of challenges, yet ironically it is often the challenges that present us with the greatest opportunities for growth. Did I really know what I was talking about when I considered what it meant to be blessed?

As far as I can tell, most of the time what we mean, or at very least what I mean, when we say we are blessed is that things are going our way. Even in times of loss, we acknowledge, “I am still so blessed in so many other ways,” meaning, “Yes, losing my poodle is hard, but there are still so many other things that are going the way I want them to.” Although it is familiar, I can’t help but wonder if this is an accurate definition. Is this really the full extent of blessing? Does God bless us by giving us what we want? If so, it seems to me that the ones who are the most blessed also have the greatest potential for being spiritually spoiled. For some reason, that does not sit so well with me.

If there is one thing I know in regards to loss, it is that none of us does a very good job dealing with it, and frankly most of us suck at it. Whether the failure of a job or the death of a friend, loss brings up all sorts of unresolved baggage, baggage that we are largely unwilling to admit or address. The tension it creates in us simply feels too great for us to hold, so we seek easy, if not fraudulent, “resolution”.

Yet I am convinced it is this very tension that has such great potential to transform us. The gap between what we want and what actually is provides a sharp reminder that we are ultimately not in control, a lesson we would all do well to remember. The Jewish observance of Sabbath is founded on this very principle, as is the whole of the Scripture narrative. You are not in control. You are finite. The world does not begin and end with you. Those who would have the rest of the world revolve around them are nothing but tyrants, whether meager or great.

I wonder if it is not time for a redefinition of blessing, to admit we may have no clue what the fullness of blessing might look like. My children have sensitized me to the pain of others in a way nothing in the world never has. While I would instantly take any pain upon myself rather than watch them suffer through it, I also believe that it can humble us towards the sorts of people we were meant to be. I simply hope I am able to hold that tension for them, as well as for myself.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

give me something good to eat


isaac was meant to be a lion this year, but he refused to put the outfit on. good thing last year's pirate outfit was still big enough. let's hear it for recycling.

ryder the lion and trent the gorilla. true animals.

grauntie and isaac (who is a little surprised by the man in the "inside out" costume)

how is this for a role reversal?

the crew

peepin' the scene

it is good to be king

dad likes his candy better

isaac and autumn plundering the countryside

the mob, minus pitchforks and torches.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

halloween eve

so on friday night we went to north coast calvary for their harvest festival (aka halloween for christians). it was quite a production, with probably a couple thousand people there at any given time. the boys were super cute in their costumes, although isaac refused to wear his lion suit, opting instead for another go at the pirate outfit. ryder was compliant, and ended up being pretty much the cutest lion ever.

real pirate and fail pirate

the work crew. isaac was a bit freaked out by allie's bee outfit.

i told you.

isaac found a game involving throwing plastic animals into boats in a kiddie pool. you get candy regardless of whether or not you make them in. why can't golf be more like that?

the kids' attention was somewhere else

allie spent 45 minutes in the dunk tank with all her 4-6 graders lining up for the opportunity to put her into the water. isaac took his own shot, and missed, but i pushed the button anyway.

the sugar buzz is wearing off. time to hit the road.


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